Battle Royale Round 7: The Magic Show #2 – Spiraled

StarCityGames.com - Battle Royale!

So, Evan’s Red burn versus Billy’s maindeck Story Circle… no contest, surely? Today’s article deals with the Battle, plus some interesting thoughts on Time Spiral… all supplied in both text and video format. For those that care about such things: beware the spoilers.


[The following is a transcript of the video, which you really should check out.]

Welcome, everyone, to The Magic Show. I’m your host, Evan Erwin. I’m a little under the weather, so please forgive how I sound. This week’s episode is full of heartbreak, defeat, and hope all in that order. So let’s get started.

I guess I have to cover that whole Battle Royale experience. If you could even call it an experience. I know what I call it: a forty-five minute wait for Rich Hoaen to show up and kick my ass.

Can you believe our own Craig Stevenson asked if I could lend ole Rich a pair of Story Circles with which to whip my ass? It’s true! Not that I wouldn’t have, of course; I just didn’t have them. Honestly, I’m reaching for straws, because the games themselves aren’t even worth talking about.

I mean, I could edit those games, show you fascinating plays of how Counterbalance is absolutely ridiculous against my deck, getting beat over and over again, but what fun is that? Seriously.

Let me list something for you:

8 Turns
8 Turns
8 Turns

What does this mean? That is how many turns the burn deck lasted before being completely locked down.

And no, not all prison-like. Though bubba says hello.

No, Counterbalance plus Sensei’s Divining Top shuts down any one-drop spells, and with Story Circles to back it up? Sigh.

But let’s talk about something exciting. Let’s take a look at Time Spiral. Oh boys and girls, if you are half the Magic dork I am, we are cooking up something good.

But did you know there’s a new color in Magic? And that it’s purple? For serious. But that’s later.

Firstly I’ll let it be known that I patrol the good folks of MTGSalvation on a daily basis. I am a spoiler junkie. It’s what I do.

What most rumor-mongers don’t realize is that they are actually more satisfied the less information they get in one setting. I would rather see the set in these 5-10 card doses than a full-blown spoiler or – God forbid – craning my neck at a prerelease. While I’m still surprised at prereleases, it is because of the cool interactions and not because it was the first time I got to see the cards.

But I digress. Where was I? Aw yes, Mr. Rosewater and company kicked things off with Lotus Bloom – which is also the Prerelease Foil (awesome!) – a card destined to break new and interesting decks the world over.

It’s like all of those Vintage players finally got their prayers answered. And then some.

For the first ever preview, Mr. Rosewater dropped the Sliver bomb on us, further confirmed by the Orb of Insight, which also let it be known that a huge number of old mechanics were returning:

Flashback (23 Mentions)
Madness (10)
Morph (18)
Buyback (7)
Flanking (21)
Storm (5)
Echo (13)
Shadow (28)

Twenty-eight shadow references folks. And then, of course, came the ridiculous bomb from Mr. Forsythe, Stronghold Overseer. Miss Kokusho much? You won’t for long.

Flores got the ridiculous Serra Avenger, some sort of power curve abortion that just so happened to land in our laps. You think this thing isn’t going to see tournament play you best pack up your trade binders, because White Weenie will forever be the Tier 2 deck to beat.

Even if it now has to work with Blue for shadow. You see, once upon a time there was a Rath Cycle and in it was a set called Tempest. It took this crazy new mechanic, Shadow, and proceeded to break the game with it. At least, in many people’s eyes. Including, you know, the head of R&D.

Nevertheless, it was the White and Black Shadow weenies who ruled the day. If I recall nothing else of that turbulent time in Standard just before I left it, it was that Shadow was pretty unfair and unfun.

Then I see this in my preview window: Drifter il-Dal. You see, I seem to remember that Blue weenie aggro was a pure Vintage Fish thing. But Standard? Get out!

But that’s not the most interesting mystery. Of the seventy or so cards that are known right now, let me tell you which is the most interesting and potentially powerful: Clockspinning. This is what you call a set-defining card ladies and gentlemen. Notice the subtle brilliance – yes, brilliance – in how well this card works with what will undoubtedly be the primary theme of the set, Suspend. Notice also that this can add or remove any counter of any type, as long as the permanent has a counter of that sort on it already.

You got charge counters? (Darksteel Reactor) You got ice counters? (Dark Depths) You like +1/+1 counters? (Simic) I’ve got a card for you.

And for those counting at home, this lets you get off all of those ridiculous Suspend spells a turn or two faster than you normally would. You drool over Ith, but I drool over getting him out in three turns. This mondo common will be in all sorts of decks and fits the Blue color pie perfectly: Powerful, Unfair, and Unfairer. You know what I’m talking about.

Lastly I want to cover this whole purple thing. The deal is this: There is a purple Time Spiral expansion symbol, consisting of 121 cards. These cards are all reprints of old, popular cards and – get this – they include the original card frame. However, they feature the latest Oracle wording. Neato!

Right now there is no idea as to how these will be distributed. My guess? The purple cards will be substituted for the correct rarity. Fire Whip will be in place of a common, Akroma will be in place of a rare. And just like in the pre-Mercadian Masques days, when you also had to worry about how Shadow was going to break the game, you’ll have to “just know” the rarity of some cards.

And let me tell you, back in the day trading a Creeping Mold for a Jolrael’s Centaur happened all of the time. And, thanks to the wonders of the mini-set purple expansion symbol, we can have even better trades! Woohoo!

I will leave you with this folks: Until next week, when the fit really hits the shan, keep a close eye on that Billy Moreno guy. He’s pretty good. So good, in fact, he beat me without even showing up.

And that’s what I call talent.

Until next time, stay cool.

Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Recorded while sick and medicated. Bleh.